DOST KHAN / ANCHOR
One thing she boasted after being thrown out of Civil Secretariat as Chief Minister on June 19, 2018 was the flaunt by Mehbooba Mufti that she succeeded in getting cases of stone-pelting withdrawn against 4,327 youths. By the way, these stone throwers are ‘innocent and misguided’ youths for her, who deserved compassion as also jobs as well. This was when she was Chief Minister and now that she is running her campaign to be Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti faced a most embarrassing, humiliating and even threatening situation when her cavalcade came under heavy stone-pelting while returning to Bijbehara from a shrine at Khirram in Anantnag district to pay obeisance. According to reports, one of the spare vehicles in her motorcade was damaged in the stone-pelting and the poor driver from the police organisation was hurt. It could be she instead of that driver, as the attack was aimed at her. However, Mehbooba, who pleads the cause of stone pelters at the cost of stone-pelters, escaped unhurt. That is some sort of relief for her, her supporters and her well wishers but not perhaps for her ‘innocent and misguided’ stone-pelters who missed their target. The attack raises a pointer for her to ponder. Had she not been under the protective cover of security personnel, what would have happened? How would have her ‘favourite’ misguided stone-pelters treated her and her accompanying leaders? How does it feel Mehbooba Mufti when stoned by the pelters who you owned and favoured by withdrawing the cases? It will be an interesting case study to watch as to how many of those attackers, who targeted her cavalcade, were the beneficiaries of the amnesty scheme Mehbooba Mufti announced by misusing her position as Chief Minister. Many a times, Kashmiri stone-pelters have been caught red-handed on camera while attacking security forces, young school children or the tourists but instead of punishing them for their stone-age crimes, successive governments have offered them olive branches. There is a method in the madness of soft secessionist so-called mainstream leaders, who always remain in competition to side with terrorists and stone-pelters. They know the stone-pelters are actually part of the terror machine being run from across the border to give thousand cuts to India. Stone pelting has a long history in the strife torn world. It is being eulogised as Intifaada, a soft version of terrorism. Those like Mehbooba Mufti describing Kashmiri stone pelters as misguided youth forget that Intifaada or stone pelting is a low cost substitute for gun totting terrorism, which neither invites global criticism nor requires training and logistics. The raw material for Intifaada is radicalised youth. The major investment, however, for both terrorism and Intifaada remains indoctrination to make young people Jihadis. This is forthcoming from the neighbouring country in immense measure. Intifaada, is an Arabic term, meaning uprising or resistance or rebellion. The term, inspired by Palestine’s struggle against Israel, is often used for popular resistance to oppression. Therefore, the stone-pelters in the Valley have gained respectability of fighting for the Kashmir cause by pelting stones, as Mujahideens were doing by showering bullets. Hardcore hawk Geelani is on record having supported stone-pelting by describing it a sort of protest, which, according to him, is even being carried out in Europe. This was not only encouragement to street urchins but provocation too. Geelani also sermonises that subjecting security forces to stone pelting is reflection of the anger among Kashmiri youth against India. And, today when the demon of terror has started eating up the vitals of their own, the secessionists and soft-separatists in the guise of mainstream leaders are feeling unnerved. The attack on Mehbooba Mufti should serve as eye opener for her as also for those who are used to criticise the security forces for using maximum force against ‘innocent youth’. They are, in fact, encouraging more people to fall in the trap of taking to stone pelting. Instead of cautioning them against the consequences of Intifaada, they are providing them license (by describing innocent) to carry forward their misadventure. They are not only provoking and inciting them against the state but by calling them innocent or misguided, they are pushing them to death trap. Today’s stone pelter ‘innocent and misguided youth’ is tomorrow’s terrorist, whose life is measured from four years to seven years. As of now they have been assigned to play the role of second line defence for terrorists, who get trapped in encounters. It is common in Kashmir for stone pelters to surface wherever terrorists get trapped and once any of them gets killed, hue and cry is raised by describing them as civilians. Unfortunately this is being done by the leaders like Mehbooba Mufti, who was made to taste stone-pelters venom today.
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